AFR members explored Ireland’s culture and agricultural industry during the fall 2015 Ag & Historic Conference Oct. 8-17. The group focused on agriculture and farming in the western part of the country, including the dairy farm that provides milk for Bailey’s Irish Cream. They also saw the historic Guinness Storehouse, Waterford Crystal’s headquarters, Muckross House, the Cliffs of Moher, Dromoland Castle and the Dromoland School of Falconry.
They began their adventure in Dublin, where they saw Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College and the historic Guinness Storehouse.
They also experienced a place that people have been drawn to for thousands of years. “The valley of two lakes” is known for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. Glendalough was a favorite stop, a place that is said to still the mind, inspire the heart and fill the soul.
Waterford was another favorite spot. The company of Waterford was established in 1783 adjacent to Merchants’ Quay in the heart of the Irish harbor town of Waterford, just minutes from the present day House of Waterford Crystal. Its founders, William and George Penrose, had a vision to “create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home.” More than two hundred years later, their reputation for creating glass of unsurpassed beauty and quality has transcended the intervening centuries.
AFR members also enjoyed the town of Killarney, the Jewel in Kerry’s crown. It is a wonderful place, a hive of activity all year round and it is a fantastic place to explore in any month or season.
A historical discovery, Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. The well-known Scottish architect, William Burn, designed the home, which was completed in 1843. Today the home is furnished in period style, portraying the lifestyle of the nineteenth century landowning class.